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2011 NFL Mock Draft: Vikings Have The 12th Overall Pick In The Upcoming Draft

To say that the Minnesota Vikings had a disappointing season would be a monumental understatement. They didn't perform well enough to win on either side of the ball, and could use substantial upgrades all over the field. They have the 12th overall pick in the upcoming draft which represents a tremendous opportunity to improve the team.

SB Nation just released its latest Mock Draft, and it has the Vikings taking Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder. Here is its rationale:

Quarterback is a need, but it's not a slam dunk that the Vikings will like any of the players available. Among the other directions the team could go, a high-upside OT like Solder makes sense, as Bryant McKinnie's best days are behind him at left tackle.

Solder is an enormous human being. But the Vikings' last enormous human being offensive line prospect, Phil Loadholt, has failed to live up to expectations. Hence the need for Solder. We'll see if that dissuades the Vikings from taking a chance on him.

It mentions the need for quarterback, but I'm not sure there are any quarterbacks that will be available that warrant being picked this high. Gabbert should be off the board, and the others might be a reach at 12. It makes sense for the Vikings to take best player available instead of trying to fill a specific need. If Solder is that player, then he is a good selection.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.